Avoid Conformity Bias In Your Organization

Mannequins look alike
Conformity bias prevents us from reaching our full potential.

By Krista Pouncy-Dyson
Founder of DiversityEmployed.com
December 27, 2020, at 9:00 am

Conformity bias is our tendency to behave like those around us rather than using our own personal judgment. In the presence of conformity bias, creativity, and individual responsibility are banished to the background while groupthink emerges to the forefront. Here are some examples of the types of thoughts that signal conformity bias:

  • ”Nobody else is speaking up about this issue. So neither will I.”
  • ”I don’t want to be the only one …”
  • ”I want to know what everyone else thinks before I move forward.”

Conformity bias prevents us from reaching our full potential as individuals, which has the capacity to deter success, growth, and opportunities in both the professional and personal setting.

Are you trying to avoid conformity bias in your workplace? Here are four ways to do it:

  1. Be Aware: Does your organization seem to promote conformity? Where is this tendency coming from?
  2. Ask Questions, Question Others: Ask yourself: In what ways are you different from others? Can you be comfortable with that difference?
  3. Get Educated: Find out if there are others whose differences you can recognize.
  4. Take Action! Start conversations with others about how your organization might incorporate more diversity. Amplify the voices of others who can make this happen.

Krista Pouncy-Dyson is the founder of DiversityEmployed.com and managing principal for Performance First Digital, a marketing agency in New Orleans. You can connect with the author on LinkedIn.

Learn More About Conformity Bias

Conformity Bias Defined by McCombs School of Business at University of Texas